Monday, June 6 is our annual ES Field Day! As always, there will be a lot of water based activities, so your child will need to bring a complete change of clothes and a towel for afterwards. They are also welcome to wear a swimsuit and coverup for the activities. Parents are warmly invited to attend, take pictures, and interact with the children throughout the event. PK-2nd graders will have their Field Day from 8:45am-11:00am, and 3rd-5th graders will have their Field Day activities from 12:00pm-2:15pm. We look forward to seeing you there!
This week the PK Owls enjoyed celebrating their achievements together at the Bravo Marvel playground and also celebrating their friend’s summer birthdays.
At the end of the week we enjoyed welcoming our parents to our room for our Year End Party. We would like to thank everyone who helped by bringing food, setting and cleaning up and joining in our group games. It was wonderful to get to celebrate together with our families and share our learning with you through a song and exploring our habitats.
Our field work to the aquarium gave children the opportunity to see many of the living things we have been investigating in an ocean habitat up close. Throughout the trip we heard them discussing the different parts of the habitats, the different facts they have learned about these animals and compare what we have read in books with their experience at the aquarium. As a follow up they have been enjoying adding things that were missing to our classroom ocean habitat and discussing the connections they made during our trip.
A huge thank you to our room parents who helped coordinate this event and the parent volunteers who donated their time to accompany us on our trip. This experience would not have been possible without your support! If you have any additional photos to add please email them to me and I will get them up!
A few weeks ago we found a large collection of boxes in our covered area leftover from 5th grade building project. We wondered aloud…..”I wonder what we could do with this big boxes? What do you think?”
Wet! Dry! Try!
The way we teach handwriting in early childhood may not be immediately obvious when looking at our program. That is because many of the prerequisite skills are built in into our day’s play. Young children learning to write benefit from experiences that support the development of fine motor skills in the hands and fingers, with carefully designed activities. Children should have strength and dexterity in their hands and fingers before being expected to manipulate a pencil on paper.
When they are ready, we can introduce a more formal method to support their development. That is the Handwriting Without Tears (the same people who brought you mat man!), Wet Dry Try approach.
This simple, yet very effective, method uses traditional resources (a small black board and chalk) to reenforce correct letter formation order and give valuable explicit practice in writing correctly formed letters.
The way it is done is this:
- Teacher models correct letter formation and gives the small slate with the letter on to the child.
- With a small (Wet!) sponge, the child erases the letter in the way that it is written.
- With a small piece of paper towel the child will trace the letter again to Dry! it.
- With the letter still a little visible, the child can then Try! themselves.
And that’s it! 3 goes at letter formation for every turn. The children love using the chalk and blackboards and get great, repetitive practice for each letter. They also have a superb ‘Wet, Dry, Try app on the iPad, using the same 3 step process. I highly recommend it, if you would like you child to practice at home.
Today we said good bye to our friend Blake who is heading to the States with his family tomorrow. We are excited for the Harwood family as they await the arrival of their new baby but will miss having Blake in our classroom community.
Next Tuesday we will welcome a new friend, Asher, to our class. Please join us in saying hello to Asher and his family next week!
This week we began a new project based learning experience titled “Living Things: What do they need to be Happy and Healthy to Grow?” Through this initiative children will have the opportunity to observe animals in different habitats and will be encouraged to reflect upon the different environments and how they affect the health and the well-being of the animals.
The Life Science Standards we will be focusing throughout our project include:
– Shows a growing ability to classify living and nonliving things
– Communicates about the characteristics of living things
– Demonstrates understanding that living things grow, change, and reproduce
– Shows awareness of life in different environments or habitats
– Groups or categorizes living things, e.g., appearance, behavior, plant, or animal
– Demonstrates awareness that living things go through a growth cycle
We began our project by looking at photos of a variety of living and non-living things and asking the children how they could tell if something was alive or not. We came up with a list of how to tell if something is alive:
- living things grow and change
- living things breathe
- living things reproduce
- living things need food and water to live
- living things move
On Monday we took a walking field trip to the Love Pet Shop at the mall. The children were able to observe dogs, cats, hamsters, mice and Chinchillas and for each one we asked ourselves: is it alive? How do we know?. While we explored we also engaged students in conversations about how the animals might be feeling, what they saw to make them think this, and how they might improve the animals well being by adding to their environment.
Throughout the week we continued to look at a variety of different habitats and how the habitat provides for each animal (food, water, air, etc.). We also looked at the children’s baby pictures and observed how we, as living things, also grow and change.
We look forward to sharing more about our project with you over the next several weeks.
As part of this project we would like to invite you to get involved both from home and in the classroom.
Ideas for classroom involvement:
– Leading a science experiment or exploration activity
– Reading a story about animals, habitats etc.
– Sharing an interest or hobby that relates animals
– Your ideas???
Ideas for Involvement from home:
– Take a look at the Peek of the Week newsletter each week and use the information provided a talking point when asking your child about his or her day
– Check the blog site for updates about the project
– Use your child’s interest and questions to begin your own investigations at home
Please let us know if you would like to be involved in our project in any way!
Do you remember the first intelligible word (s) your child uttered? Do you remember when your child first pointed to a word, letter or a symbol and read it/said what it meant? These are some of the milestones that indicate your child has begun his/her literacy journey. Literacy includes, reading, writing, listening and speaking. But most importantly, literacy for all human beings is having the ability to use these skills to set the course of their life and flourish in it. Reading is so much more than phonics and uttering words from print… it is making meaning, connecting that meaning to prior knowledge and applying it with joy to self, impacting the soul, body and mind.
“The most powerful and effective way for children
to begin learning the complex process of learning about letters
is by writing their own names.”
All Pre-K classes have been engaging their students in the aspects of print by using the letters in the names of each child in the classroom. The value of reading and writing one’s own name is that it is the first and the most loved word every child learns followed by the words mom and dad. As the children begin to identify the letters in their name and become interested in the sounds the letters make they move on to learning the names of their friends and family members. Your child and his/her classmates have been having the opportunity to read and write their names in many areas of the classroom. If you are to visit your child’s classroom you will find a place where your child posts/writes his/her name to sign in, you may find a game where the letters for each child’s name can created. There may be games that include counting the letters in their names and ordering from most to least or least to most.
Teachers are observing that students are learning that a word is a group of letters that have meaning. As a result, children are becoming interested in finding other words that have meaning. It becomes a game that keeps everyone alert to watch for words that give meaning to them. The joyful journey of literacy has begun and continues!
While these activities are ongoing throughout the school year the PK3 children have taken the last two weeks to explore letters on a deeper level through stories, snacks, songs, games and scavenger hunts.